The tale of time

There are some things about time I do not understand. Philosophers, playwrights and comedians have a way of pinning time down to “time-less” quotes.

Time heals what reason cannot – Seneca

Time does have a healing quality. So does space. And prayer.

They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself – Andy Warhol

Time does change things, but if you do not participate, you may not find things to your liking. Then again, sometimes by participating we screw things up worse. But I mean really, who else is going to live your life?

There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go – Tennessee Williams

What about when God says “go” but doesn’t say where? What if you have a direction but no destination? What then?

Lost time is never found again – Benjamin Franklin

But where does it go? And how do we loose it? I suppose we wait around for the perfect opportunity and miss the hundreds of doors that come our way. Or maybe we hide from what’s most important. But by the time our imaginary hide-and-seek is over, what is important has left.

What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know – Saint Augustine

No one is asking, but I still don’t know.

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once – Albert Einstein

Brilliant. It makes so much sense now.

Take a few minutes and listen to this song: Schmuel Song from The Last 5 years. This is my favorite musical. It’s a melancholy story of two people – Jamie and Kathy. Both tell of how their stories crossed. Kathy begins at the end, Jamie at the beginning. I love this musical because it tells of love – love beginning, love shared, love for “forever”, love lost. This song is really the only “happy” song, and it talks about time. The clock comes alive and turns back time. At the end Jamie sings to Kathy, “Take your time”.

My sophomore year of college my floor went on Rotic (Romantic without the man) to a place in Portland. Apples to Apples was one of our favorite games, so our RA gave each person two cards (with adjectives on them). We had to pick which girl best fit the descriptions. For me they picked, “sappy” and “timeless”. The sappy one can be another conversation, but what makes a person timeless?

Some say not to waste time, make it count, use it while you have it. Others are waiting for monday-friday to be done so they can “relax” on their weekends. A day can take forever or be gone in the blink of an eye.

So what do we do with our time? I want to live. God’s put some pretty incredible people in my life. They come and go. But I want to love them. I have dreams in my heart that I want to share. In little ways.

Most of the time I don’t know what I’m doing. I make messes. I make messes worse. I add plenty of brokenness to the puzzle of humanity. But maybe, just maybe I add some love too. Perhaps Christ’s light can shine through me.

Even when I don’t understand, can’t see the direction, don’t know what to do, I can join with the psalmist:

Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge – Psalm 62:8

So I’ll stay here in the mess, living, loving, pressing on, trusting the God that is certainly bigger than time.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting blog, Sarah! I’ve heard that God steps in and out of time like we step out of the bathwater. I usually end up getting out when the water is too cold, but I bet God knows exactly when to maximize the situation. I think of time as a boundary to limit evil on this earth because I would hate to deal with someone who was 800 years old with hateful and evil motives. Maybe this time thing is just a testing ground to see if we are willing to know God and open to living in love so we can live forever. I enjoyed your thoughts on this subject keep writing–you have a gift!

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